"I am on FIRE!"

There were seven games that took place last night, with 13 former feather-heads, one was a goalie, the other 12 were skaters. There is lots in store in this version of the Daily Esposito. I have a lot of side comments on the players so I will keep this short. Just glad the Hawks got a win last night, made me a happy guy. Hope you enjoy today’s post!

Click the jump for updates from the 1/2/11 games

Tuomo Ruutu – Carolina
18:56 TOI, three assists (20,21,22), plus three, two shots, 6 of 13 on face-offs
Had three assists and still wasn’t one of the three stars. Now three straight seasons with at least 20 assists. Last year he had only 21. 2nd game in last 5 which he has had three assists. 11 points in has last 7 games. Also a nice stat from this game, ex hawk for a month this summer, Marty Reasoner had a two goal game for the third time this season.

Sergei Samsonov – Carolina
9:47 TOI, two shots

Kris VerTSeeg – Toronto
18:26 TOI, one goal (12), two assists (17,18), plus one, three shots
He has five points in his last two games with two goals and three assists. 14 points in his last 12 games, playing really well right now. His goal in the game against the Thrashers was a nice wrist shot from the slot. One his first goal he used good speed to draw a penalty and still force a two on one which he feed a great past to Armstrong for a one-timer. He now has 30 points on the season for the third straight year. Good to see, I liked him, but wasn’t too sad he was gone, but I did know he had a great upside and potential, looks like he is using it.

Tim Brent – Toronto
13:14 TOI, minus two, 7 of 11 on face-offs
How was he minus two, when the other team only scored three goals, and his scored nine?

Dustin Byfuglien – Atlanta
19:22 TOI, plus one, 2 PIM, six shots
How was he still plus one when his team gave up nine goals?

Andrew Ladd – Atlanta
19:26 TOI, one goal (14), plus one, three shots
His goal was scored with 48 seconds left in the third period. Meaningless, but he still gets credit for it.

Brent Sopel – Atlanta
19:19 TOI, one shot

Ben Eager – Atlanta
8:07 TOI, one assist (7), plus one, 14 PIM, one shot
First point since December 26th. He also had a double minor in the game, two minutes for roughing, and another two for cross checking midway through the first. Also took a match penalty late in the second. Eager hit the Leaf’s Colby Armstrong after a whistle called for a Dustin Byfuglien roughing call. Armstrong left the game with a hurt right eye, which led straight to the match conduct of Eager. This was Eager’s first game since December 28th. He has been a healthy scratch the last four games and six of the last nine.… After his 14 PIM from last night, Eager now has 77 PIM on the season which leads the team. Second on the team is Buff with 45, and he has played 10 more games than Eager has. Wow this was a lot to write about this guy. Most news he has made in a while. I will say I kind of miss his emotion and aggression on the ice, but I DO NOT miss his stupid penalties. My guess is he may be a healthy scratch again in their next game…

Ethan Moreau – Columbus
Was placed on IR with an injury retroactive to January 4th

Sammy Pahlsson – Columbus
12:27 TOI, 2 PIM, three shots, 6 of 8 on face-offs

Rene Bourque – Calgary
17:28 TOI, minus one, one shot
Hasn’t scored a point in 7 games… and has been a minus 4 during that time.

Colin Fraser – Edmonton
11:07 TOI, minus one, one shot, 1 of 6 on face-offs
Hasn’t recorded a point in 26 games, since November 12th when he scored two goals versus New Jersey.

Nikolai Khabibulin – Edmonton
Loss (17), 28 saves on 34 shots, .824 SV%
Lost his 6th straight game, and this one was to the red hot Canucks who are now 4-0-0 in January, have won 8 straight games, havn’t lost since December 5th against the blues and are 14-0-2 in their last 16 games, and have taken 30 of the possible 32 points possible… Yea I’d say they are on a run… Khabi is 8-17-2 on the season and is 15-26-4 as an Oiler. Yikes…

Adam Burish – Dallas
14:48 TOI, one shot, 7 of 9 on face-offs

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or email him at Brandon.Spinner@valpo.edu